Reading Workshop Unit 5: Readers Read, Think and Talk About Characters in Realistic Fiction Book Clubs This unit extends readers’ prior experience with realistic fiction as they explore the features of the genre and the pivotal importance of character development. Students’ careful study of character builds their understanding of realism in this genre. In unit 5, readers will understand that: 1. Realistic fiction combines the elements of story and realism. 2. Realistic characters at the center of a realistic problem who achieve a plausible solution lie at the heart of realistic fiction. In unit 5, readers will be able to: 1. Identify the elements of story (i.e., character, setting, plot, problem, solution); 2. Distinguish main and supporting characters in realistic fiction; 3. Recognize that the main character travels the “story mountain” and reacts to supporting characters along the arc of a story’s plot development; 4. Identify a character’s external (“outside”) character traits in precise language; 5. Identify a character’s internal (“inside”) character traits in precise language; 6. Apply picture and dialogue clues to envision a character’s thoughts and feelings in precise language; 7. Recognize that characters, particularly the main character, change along the arc of the “story mountain”; 8. Identify how a particular character changes along the arc of the “story mountain”; 9. Recognize significant plot event along the arc of the “story mountain”; 10. Interpret significant plot events for insight into a specific character’s development; 11. Recognize that characters relate to other characters; 12. Identify how a particular character relates to other characters; 13. Connect a character’s (un)expected actions to internal character traits and change along the arc of the “story mountain”; 14. Predict and infer character and plot development from character interactions; 15. Connect themselves and/or other people in their lives to characters in realistic fiction; 16. Recognize the circumstances under which they could befriend a given character; 17. Identify patterns in a character’s dialogue and actions that substantiate a theory about that character; 18. Cooperate with a reading partner to substantiate a theory about a character with textual evidence; 19. Apply the elements of story to realistic short fiction and identify distinctive elements of this genre (i.e., realistic characters’ external and internal traits; realistic setting, action and dialogue; inner thinking; development of the story over time; main character’s story climax; strong ending that provides a realistic and reasonable solution).
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